New Delhi/Mumbai, January 12: Union Minority Affairs Ministry on Thursday constituted a six-member committee to look into the abolition of Rs 690 crore annual subsidy given by the government to Haj pilgrims every year. The committee has been constituted by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minority Affairs Minister after lots of questions have been raised on subsidy. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that the subsidy given for Haj pilgrimage must be allotted for girl’s education and hence the debate started again.Also Read - T20 World Cup: AIMIM Leader Asaduddin Owaisi Reacts Ahead of India-Pakistan Game, Says 'Indians Being Killed in Kashmir' | WATCH VIDEO

On Wednesday senior Owaisi tweeted, “Saudi Arabia has increased Haj Quota to 1.70 from 1.30 we welcome it @naqvimukhtar Please remove Haj Subsidy 690 cr allot to Girls Eductn”. Also Read - Gandhi-Savarkar Row: Don't Think Mahatma Gandhi is Father of Nation, Says Veer Savarkar's Grandson | WATCH

In 2012 Supreme Court had directed the Union Government to gradually reduce and abolish Haj subsidy in 10 years and invest the amount – Rs 690 crore – in education and other measures for social development of the minority community. Also Read - Condition of Muslims Has Become Like ‘Band Baaja Party’ in Wedding: Owaisi

On Wednesday, Naqvi said that none of the pilgrims has benefited with Haj subsidy. The decision to set up a committee was taken after Saudi Arabia increased India’s annual Hajj quota from 1.36 lakh to 1.70 lakh.

Naqvi after signing a bilateral Haj agreement between India and Saudi Arabia for annual Haj pilgrimage said that the NDA government was keen to enhance services for Indian Muslims. He also said that digitisation of Haj application was also a part of the commitment.

Most of the Muslim scholars argue that Haj is not compulsory to any person if he or she is financially incapable of it. “Haj should be done on one’s own earned money and not from the subsidy,” a scholar recently said. But some people argue on its abolition saying that governments give subsidies for pilgrimages of different faiths. Talking just of Haj subsidy is to limit something that needs a larger debate.

The Haj subsidy started in 1932 during the British colonial era. In 1932 the British lawmakers enacted The Port Haj Committees Act, which provided for government funded Haj Committee.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also said that the Narendra Modi government will also launch Ghareeb-e-Nawaz scheme for skill development for minority youth with an aim to generate employment and opportunities for them. In this scheme, youths will be provided six to twelve-month duration courses.

Naqvi also said that the only need was that of commitment to implement existing schemes in a transparent manner. The bilateral agreement between India and Saudi Arabia was signed under the presence of Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed, Indian Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh and high-ranking officials from civil aviation, minorities affairs, Central Haj Committee.